Civilian Space eXploration Team
Launched May 17, 2004
Many thanks and congratulations go out to the entire CSXT team. This group did an amazing job of combining and executing so many disciplines. Thanks in particular... To Ky, for never losing heart and keeping your eye on the prize. To Jerry, for working so hard to bring together and orchestrate such a complex program. To Korey, for keeping me sane and watching out for the "gotcha's". To Eric and Rod, for putting together a great electronics package. To Chuck, for being there for me when I needed someone to think things through. To GoFast, for having enough faith in all of us to put your money where your mouth is. To Fuscient, for showing faith when the program was most in need. To Stratofox, for persistence in finding the payload. To all the other team members, for their tireless efforts and sleepless nights.
Official Altitude Press Release
Sunrise on Launch Day
The "GoFast" Rocket
Diameter: 10" OD
Length: 21 feet
Liftoff weight: 724 lbs
Propellant weight: 435 lbs
Motor Classification: S-50,150
Max Altitude: 72 miles
Max Velocity: Mach 5
Video of the Launch
Above and below photo by Ian Kluft
See all of his images at http://www.stratofox.org/pics/csxt-spaceshot-2004/
Bruce Kelly and Chuck Rogers inspect the fincan with Ky
Check out the diameter of the nozzle exit plane
above and below by Ian Kluft
Ky Michaelson at the switch
The Payload section is found!!
above and below by Ian Kluft
Korey Kline and I were the newest members of the CSXT team joining only six months before the launch. During that time, in collaboration with Ky and Jerry, we designed, developed, and built the largest amateur rocket motor ever. The solid propellant motor contained a derivation of the propellant that I have used for my O and P motors for the past few years. The motor is designated as an S-50,000 containing 435 lbs of AP based propellant configured in a monolithic case-bonded grain with a central fin-o-cyl core with a nearly neutral thrust profile. The case was aluminum 6061 with an OD of 10" and 175" long. The end closures were retained with two rows of radial bolts. The nozzle was created from a new process using a combination of graphite, carbon fiber, and ablative materials and featured a bell shaped exit cone. A number of static tests were performed on 3" and 6" hardware to characterize the propellant. A full scale static firing revealed issues with the motors end closures that were corrected for the flight motor. Chuck Rogers assisted in designing the test configurations and in addressing issues such as erosive burning and nozzle losses. The in-flight motor performance was backed out of the CSXT GoFast flight acceleration data and netted a total impulse of 92,429 lb-sec for a delivered Isp of 212.5 seconds.
L to R: Jerry Larson, Derek Deville, Dennis Moreno, Alex Espinosa, Ed Ampuero, and Korey Kline
The Composite Nozzle
Hanging out at the Test Stand
NightVision of the port
The discovered/recovered booster as seen from the air
6" Characterization P-motor generating over 1800 lbs of thrust for 7 seconds.